Kona 2013: Race Expo Gear
images by C.J.Photo
Oct 9, 2013  hits 112,920

One of my favorite familiar sights over the last several years has been the Scott Bicycle installation at Lava Java cafe. Although Scott is certainly due for a new model, the Plasma 3 remains a beautiful sight, and likely still a fairly competitive bike, aerodynamically.
One of my favorite familiar sights over the last several years has been the Scott Bicycle installation at Lava Java cafe. Although Scott is certainly due for a new model, the Plasma 3 remains a beautiful sight, and likely still a fairly competitive bike, aerodynamically.

Oh yes, it's that time of year again. The Ironman World Championships are upon us, and as usual, the race expo is filled with lustworthy gear from all across the industry. Our coverage this year may be slightly more limited than in previous years, but we'll do our best to give you a flavor of the island, and of course keep an eye out for all the equipment going up and down the Queen K on Saturday. Every gallery will be Supersized to fill your screen with some nice big images. Enjoy!



  • One of my favorite familiar sights over the last several years has been the Scott Bicycle installation at Lava Java cafe. Although Scott is certainly due for a new model, the Plasma 3 remains a beautiful sight, and likely still a fairly competitive bike, aerodynamically.
  • Across the street at Huggo's, the legendary Bob Babbitt (right) conducts his Breakfast With Bob interviews.
  • Although Trek's new Speed Concept was unveiled with relatively little fanfare compared to its predecessor, Trek has kept its prominent presence at Ironman Hawaii, showing off their impressive flagship machine.
  • The new Speed Concept retains everything that made the original bike great, and has addressed most of the common complaints people had about that bike. We are currently reviewing the bike, so stay tuned for that in the coming weeks.
  • The Project One program allows customers to purchase the bike with any particular spec and paint scheme. This one has the new Ultegra 6800 crank, which has the unique four-bolt construction that its big brother the 9000 crank pioneered.
  • Trek's Project One lets you customize quite a few details, right down to the decal color on your wheels.
  • Red frame, green and purple accents, with yellow wheel decals? It's not my cup of tea, but Trek will sell you whatever you want.
  • Every athlete competing in this year's edition of the race was put on a giant banner. Pretty sweet.
  • Here's a closeup of that banner, memorializing each athlete's participation in the race.
  • Quintana Roo's Illicito and QR's previous CD0.1 have a funny story; they predate the Specialized Shiv as UCI-illegal designs, but never really captured the imagination of the market. That is, you don't hear a whole lot of excitement about them. I never liked the behind-the-fork brake concept, but think the bike could be built up pretty nicely with a little care (and a different front fork). I know of people who have done exactly that, and built the bike up with our Omega brake.
  • The rear end of the Illicito. QR got rid of the non-drive-side seat stay, but left it on the drive side. What's more interesting about this image, to me, is how obviously beautiful the island is. Where else can you stroll a race expo looking for gear, but you can't avoid the lush beauty that's all over the place.
  • Camo paint schemes on the QR bikes. Personally, I like them. Something a little different now and then is always fun to see.
  • The Canyon Concept Speedmax seems to me like a fairly deliberate clone of Trek's Speed Concept, and although it does LOOK cool, I'd much rather have Trek's machine. The Speedmax is built around a near-useless 74-degree seat angle, and can only be made to fit via a huge forward-offset post and a slammed saddle. But again, it is definitely a good-LOOKING bit of kit. Maybe I'd have a better opinion of one if I had the chance to build it up and ride it for myself.
  • Closeup of the Canyon Concept Speedmax. You always see these bikes with electronic shifting, because they can't accommodate cables. Boo.
  • Profile Design is making a big push in the wheel department, and I'm very interested in what they're up to. Maybe I need to snag a pair of these for review.
  • On the left, the finish chute. On the right, the beginning of the swim course. This is Kona!
  • Rudy Project's Wingspan helmet, still going strong, and in every color of the rainbow. I'm a little more excited about the Wing 57, the new lid Rudy debuted at the tour. But, not to be found here.
  • Specialized Shivs-a-plenty.
  • The Recon Jet is a brand new heads-up-display specifically for cycling.
  • The Jet is a bit bulky, and I haven't had a chance to wear it myself, so I couldn't tell you what the wearing experience is actually like.
  • Cervelo flags and palm trees. Yep, we're in the right place.
  • And finally, looks like Nathan finally came up with a name for their new BTA bottle. They're calling it the AP PRO, which I can only imagine is a tribute to the man riding it to victory for them, Andy Potts.

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